Sewing: Komebukuro

A komebukuro or “rice bag” is a quilted bag used for bringing rice offerings to Shinto temples in Japan.  It’s a pretty simple quilted bag.  The hard part is/are the eight button holes that finish the bag.  To make one, one needs ten squares of fabric, all of the same size.  The size of the squares determines the final size of the bag. This bag was built from ten squares 7″ on a side. The result is a little smaller than I intended, but for a first effort, it isn’t bad. Sometimes it’s a good idea to build a prototype. This will make a good kid’s lunch bag. Even if I make the squares larger, though, this wont be a good book satchel for students to carry books around to classes. A shoulder bag makes more sense for that, ultimately.

The bag will eventually have two button holes along the top edge of the four/eight squares that make up the sides of the bag. Note where the pins are? A cord will snake through those eight buttonholes and serve as the carry-handle, and the pull-cord that closes the bag; for extra security, you can put a knot in the cord.

I was using brown and white fabric left over from the Jedi costume I made earlier his week. But the use of more colorful fabrics, or even making smaller quilted squares for the sides, would be good for a training for students learning to sew: they would create a bag unique to themselves, reducing confusion in the locker room and preventing lost items.

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